Vitamin Deficiency Can Make You Fat

Fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamins are divided into fat and water-soluble groups. They differ in how they are absorbed, transported, stored and excreted in the body. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, the body can store fat-soluble vitamins.

Which vitamins are fat soluble?

The fat-soluble vitamins include:

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The intake of fat-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the intestine along with fats. The intake of these vitamins can therefore also be increased with the simultaneous intake of fat through food.

Low-fat diet and disorders of fat digestion and absorption, on the other hand, mean that smaller amounts of fat-soluble vitamins get into the organism.

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Storage of fat-soluble vitamins

The body can store fat-soluble vitamins in large quantities in various places. Important vitamin stores are, for example, the liver and adipose tissue (depot fat). Due to the ability to store, a continuous supply is not necessary. However, this can lead to an overdose of fat-soluble vitamins in the event of excessive administration in the form of supplements.

Hypervitaminosis: vitamin overdose

They can then have a toxic effect and the clinical picture of a so-called hypervitaminosis develops. Depending on which vitamin was overdosed, different symptoms can occur, such as:

Vitamin K is an exception in this regard. It has only a very low toxicity and is only stored in small amounts by the body - hypervitaminoses rarely occur.

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Function and elimination

The main function of fat-soluble vitamins is to stimulate the production of certain proteins. For example, the body needs vitamin K in order to be able to form certain coagulation factors.

Fat-soluble vitamins are excreted through the intestines.

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Dr. med. Kerstin Lehermayr
Editorial editing:
Helga Quirgst, MSc

Status of medical information:

Horton HR et al .: Biochemistry. Pearson Studies, 2008.

Elmadfa I: Nutrition. UTB, Stuttgart 2004.

Elmadfa I and Leitzmann C: Human nutrition. UTB, Stuttgart 2004.

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